Darkest Hour
Godless Prophets and The Migrant Flora


3.6
great

Review

by Trebor. STAFF
March 7th, 2017 | 369 replies


Release Date: 2017 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Grabbing progress by the throat

Darkest Hour has been a band trending seriously downward since the release of 2007’s Deliver Us. The culmination of ten years of rising in the ranks, perfecting a potent blend of melodic death metal and metalcore, Deliver Us was Darkest Hour firing on all cylinders. Spacey, bright production, indelible melodic riffs, and killer solos, Deliver Us sounded inspired, it sounded fresh, and it cemented Darkest Hour as one of the best metalcore bands of their era. Unfortunately the success would not last, as lead guitarist Kris Norris left in ‘09 and Darkest Hour went on to release two records - The Eternal Return and The Human Romance, which while more aggressive than the past two records, were ultimately watered down versions of a sound that had already been perfected. Both records had their fair share of decent riffs and impressive solos, but they felt hollow, there was something missing, and that something was Kris Norris. Then the band lost their drummer and bassist, and the downward spiral culminated with the release of a poppy, dumbed-down self titled album which featured Darkest Hour abandoning what little progress they had made over the last two albums. Uninspired clean vocals, limp riffs, and a godawful guitar tone made for a mess of an album that barely even sounded like the same band that wrote “A Paradox With Flies.” The album received poor reception, it failed to match the intensity of past records, and so it seemed like a good time for Darkest Hour to hang up their hats. But Darkest Hour didn’t break up, instead they took their time writing new material, got Kris Norris involved, and crowdfunded the recording of a new album. I was very hesitant to hear a new crowdfunded Darkest Hour album considering the band had just recently hit rock bottom, but news that Kris Norris would be featured on the record, and mega producer Kurt Ballou was running the show was enough to get me on board. Considering all the recent failure however, Godless Prophets & the Migrant Flora would need to seriously deliver the goods to function as a satisfying comeback record, and for the most part it does.

The first time the blistering opener “Knife in the Safe Room” graced my ears I did a double take. “What is this balls-to-the-wall, riff heavy hardcore track that I’m hearing" John Henry sounded so lifeless on the last record, how could this vicious beast on the mic be the same guy, this couldn’t possibly be post self-titled Darkest Hour.” I honestly triple checked to make sure I was listening to the right album. I think the pleasant confusion I felt is the best thing Godless Prophets has going for it - it has identity, something the band has been lacking for years. And it isn’t simply a retread of Undoing Ruin, or Deliver Us, it’s an honest to God effective comeback record that doesn’t rely exclusively on nostalgia. Not to say that the flares and flourishes of Darkest Hour past aren’t present - the rapid fire melodeath riffs and trems are still lurking around, they’re just framed by an unusually aggressive hardcore sound. John Henry’s screams are as blood curdling as ever, and a few of the heavier tracks sound shockingly similar to Kurt Ballou’s own band Converge. And most importantly the guitar solos are technical, catchy, and dynamic - back to near Deliver Us levels of quality. A complement to intense, dissonant riffs are the clean guitar interlude in “None of This is The Truth”, and the acoustic “Widowed” which are bizarrely soothing, and very much signature Darkest Hour. Godless Prophets has a new take, but it’s also able to retain the elements that previously made Darkest Hour great. With all that being said, while the aggressive nature of the record is appealing, Godless Prophets still leaves a lot to be desired in terms of being catchy and memorable.

The major fault with Godless Prophets is that while fresh for a band coming out of a career low, it’s really nothing special within the context of a metalcore album coming out in 2017. The blistering first two tracks and the tasty, riff filled epic closer “Beneath It Sleeps” are exceptional, but a large chunk of the rest of the record is samey, the songs tend to bleed together, and most of the riffs are serviceable, but not exemplary. John Henry gives his best vocal performance to date, and the tight production and overall presentation save the record from being average, but in all honesty, Godless Prophets is just good enough to not be disappointing. It’s not one of a kind, but it’s enjoyable - it’s the most Darkest Hour are capable of at this point. These aren’t the kind of riffs and melodies that will imprint onto my brain the way almost every song from Undoing Ruin or Deliver Us did, but Darkest Hour get a gold star for effort for delivering a strong metalcore record, and more importantly, for pulling off an immensely difficult comeback.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
Trebor.
Staff Reviewer
March 6th 2017


55359 Comments

Album Rating: 3.6

Album is great

Digging: Julien Baker - Turn Out The Lights

SteakByrnes
March 6th 2017


4573 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Nice review Treb



The solos on this are incredible

Digging: Ghost Atlas - All Is In Sync, and There's Nothing Left to Sing

Toondude10
March 6th 2017


11609 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

and here comes treb in with his take



"The album received poor reception, it failed to chart, and it seemed like a good time for Darkest Hour to hang up their hats."



Actually, with the exception of the Heatseekers chart, the s/t is one of their most successful albums to date. review is great otherwise.

Digging: Face The King - Once More Is All I Am

Durrzo
March 6th 2017


1475 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Good review. I do have a very different opinion about the quality of the album, but that's how music works.

Piglet
March 6th 2017


7447 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

i was so surprised in hearing how good this band is after seeing their font

Trebor.
Staff Reviewer
March 6th 2017


55359 Comments

Album Rating: 3.6

"Actually, with the exception of the Heatseekers chart, the s/t is one of their most successful albums to date. review is great otherwise."



I meant more artistically it was poor and not a lot of people with taste liked it

wwf
March 7th 2017


5660 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

that RLM avatar is top quality

Digging: Terror Pigeon! - We Will Never Run Out of Love!

LordePots
March 7th 2017


38255 Comments


""Actually, with the exception of the Heatseekers chart, the s/t is one of their most successful albums to date. review is great otherwise."



I meant more artistically it was poor and not a lot of people with taste liked it"

then why did u literally say it failed to chart and received poor reception if you meant it artistically sucked and trve darkest hour fans who kno a thinger 2 about a metalcore thinger 2 thought it was lameballs

Digging: Alyss - Motherland

wwf
March 7th 2017


5660 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

you bring up good points

Storm In A Teacup
March 7th 2017


22236 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

damnit trebor what are you doing

LordePots
March 7th 2017


38255 Comments


thank you

wwf
March 7th 2017


5660 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I'm honestly surprised this band's last three albums have as high of ratings as they do; they're not bad but they're all kind of messes

Spec
March 7th 2017


34816 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

will jam in half an hour

wwf
March 7th 2017


5660 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Also I feel like people would be digging this album a lot less if the production and the vocal performances weren't total fire

Storm In A Teacup
March 7th 2017


22236 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

John Henry has always brought IT

Confessed2005
March 7th 2017


3888 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Yeah, he is one of my fave vocalists. His lyrics are brilliant.

Digging: Converge - The Dusk in Us

wwf
March 7th 2017


5660 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

hopefully we can get lyrics for this soon

wwf
March 7th 2017


5660 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

it's kinda weird how this album is both kind of safe but still manages to feel like it's not just diminishing returns from deliver us - undoing ruin days (like how TER and THR felt)

Spec
March 7th 2017


34816 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

no spotify eh

Storm In A Teacup
March 7th 2017


22236 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

can't even on the news article. the only way is what zippa posted just this link spec buddy



https://noisey.vice.com/en_us/article/darkest-hour-stick-to-their-guns-on-their-ferocious-new-album



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